Sunday, March 25, 2007

Julie Amero To Be Sentenced Thursday

I've written before about a local court case with international implications. Coast to coast, sea to shining sea, hopping continents and bouncing off satellites in space. Read about it, because it could happen where you are, too. You might think it can't, but it can happen to you.

Here's the meat of the nutshell as I cracked it earlier: "Julie Amero, a substitute teacher, was convicted on four counts of risk of injury to a minor for exposing middle school students to pornography on a school computer. The conviction came after she testified that the sexually explicit material on her computer popped up as a result of adware, not from any prurient searches of her own. She faces up to forty years in prison."

She will be sentenced this Thursday.

There's someone else around these parts who will not face a day of jail time, however. It's a man who sexually assaulted a three year old girl. Under a plea deal, he will get five years' probation. According to the same newspaper that has seen its Web site hits skyrocket due to international interest in the Amero case, the story behind this second travesty of justice is this: "Rockville Superior Court Judge Patricia Swords accepted the plea bargain so the girl would be spared having to face her abuser and recounting the sexual assault...Jones must register as a sex offender for 10 years, but his registration will remain secret to people who visit the state sex offender registry. Information on the list about Jones will be available only to law enforcement officials."

And so, a woman with poor timing and bad reflexes, who allowed middle school students to glimpse sexual images on a screen, will be sentenced, while a man who molested a three year old girl is able to strike a plea deal that guarantees him re-entry into a world where nobody knows about his sick predilections. A world where he can use sex to assault again with nobody, at first, the wiser.

Said the judge in the Jones case to the perp as she let him off the hook: "There is no doubt your behavior … was reprehensible -- perhaps the most reprehensible to come before this court."

But I guess the nature and intent of the crime does not matter. That's all I can deduce from these two cases, similar in nothing but the court system's inability to protect us from harm.


slouching mom said...

Oh my God. That is awful. But given the climate in these United States lately, it's not entirely surprising.

What a travesty of justice in both cases.

Whirlwind said...

n under a rock as I hadn't heard that one.

That is just wrong! I can't even begin to describe my anger/frustration at that. As a mom of 3 little girls, I hate the thought of anything like that happening to them. I would think the family would have wanted that guy locked up!

On a side note, as I was just telling Husband, I was dropping Einey off at school the other day and a middle aged man in a joggin suit came walking across the school yard towards us. As I was inching the girls closer to me thinking "who is this guy/what's he doing here" the grandmother of one of the kids (whom I was talking to) looks at him and says "Good Morning Father, your out early". I had no clue this one one of the parish priests (I haven't met them all yet). Motherly instincts kicking in I guess.

Redneck Mommy said...

What a travesty. I'd love to make a joke that it is just your screwed up Yankee system of justice, but the sad truth of the matter is the same crap is happening on my side of the border.

Where are people's common sense nowadays?

I just want to scream at the injustice of it all...

Lauren said...

The Amero case is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. That poor woman.

Wendy said...

I am sick.

We are going through similar travesties of justice in these parts. Our DA cant get his act together, which means murderers and repeat murderers are getting out because they are not brought before a judge within the 60 day time limit. How much time does this DA need?

Oh, he moved his butt to get 7 police officers who stayed in a city under water to protect and serve charged 14 months after the incident.

I have no faith in our justice system.

TSM-Truth, Sincerity, Madness said...

In situations like this, I look back at Joseph, Daniel and other examples of the unjustly punished, and take a bit of comfort knowing that ultimately, some good eventually came from the situation.

Just stunning, really. I don't know what to say.

Jerri said...

That is just freakin' insane....just plain crazy...

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jen said...

unbelievable. so unbelievable. that poor woman. and how ridiculous that these are the decisions that are binding, and the reasoning that precedes it.

Chris said...

I'm glad you took up writing this. It really shows how back-asswards our media and and justice system is. It is so disgusting that a guy who touches 3 year old girls will be free to repeat his actions (don't anyone try to tell me that a sicko like this won't try!) and some pathetic excuse of a prosecutor has agreed to not even let the public find out if he is our neighbor/baseball coach/camp counselor/etc? Would she like to volunteer to let him babysit her children as a sign of confidence in her decision?
I'm sure that the law enforcement officials priviledged to this information will be able to proactively stop him from hurting the next child. I mean, they will obviously take time out of their busy schedules of fighting real crimes like speeders on 395 to follow him whenever he gets within 100 feet of a school, right?
If I ever catch James B. Jones even looking at my daughter, I'm certain I won't be given 5 years probation.

Lisa said...

My God. I hadn't heard of this case, and I am truly sickened by the implications of this kind of judicial reasoning.


Jene said...

you should do a letter to the editor of all the newspapers and magazines in the area. i'm serious.

Lawyer Mama said...

I've heard about the first case. I think it's ridiculous. Everybody better lock up their TVs and computers when kiddies come over because it could be you too!

The molestation case makes me sick. Plus, I'm not sure I understand the basis for it. I'm not a criminal attorney, but I'm pretty darn sure a 3 year old can't testify in court. How would you cross-examine a toddler? You don't. The interview with the toddler by police and/or social workers is taped and the investigators testify and presumably there is some physical evidence of assault.